Concordance of psychiatric symptom ratings between a subject and informant, relevancy to post-mortem research.

P. M. Thompson, C. G. Bernardo, D. A. Cruz, N. S. Ketchum, J. E. Michalek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Investigators are interested in determining whether lifetime behavioral traits and specific mood states experienced close to death affect brain gene and protein expression as assessed in post-mortem human brains. Major obstacles to conducting this type of research are the uncertain reliability of the post-mortem psychiatric diagnoses and clinical information because of the retrospective nature of the information. In this study, we addressed the concordance of clinical information obtained through an informant compared with information obtained through a clinician interview of the subject. To test this, we measured both lifetime and within the week psychiatric symptoms of subjects (n=20) and an informant, their next-of-kin (n=20) who were asked identical questions. We found Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)-IV axis 1 diagnoses by Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview proportion of positive agreement for major depression was 0.97, bipolar disorder was 0.81, whereas proportion of negative agreement was 0.97 for schizophrenia. Symptom scale intra-class correlation coefficients and 95% confidence interval were: Bipolar Inventory of Signs and Symptoms=0.59 (0.23, 0.81), Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale=0.58 (0.19, 0.81), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale=0.44 (0.03, 0.72), Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale=0.44 (0.03, 0.72), Young Mania Rating Scale=0.61 (0.30, 0.82), Barratt Impulsiveness Score=0.36 (-0.11, 0.70) and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire=0.48 (-0.15, 0.83). We show that DSM-IV diagnoses; lifetime impulsivity severity, childhood trauma score and symptom scores were significantly consistent between the subjects and their informants. These data suggest, with some limitations, that both retrospective and informant obtained information can provide useful clinical information in post-mortem research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e214
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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